Tuesday, July 03, 2007
A Pauline Year, Bro. John Samaha, SM
TO HONOR THE 2000th BIRTHDAY OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE: On the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 28, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed a Pauline Year to honor St. Paul in preparation for the 2000th anniversary of the great apostle’s birth. Church historians reckon that St. Paul was born about 10 A.D. in Tarsus, now located in present-day Turkey. Following his conversion to Christianity Paul became the Church’s foremost evangelizer in spreading the gospel among the Jews and the Gentiles. The Pauline year will run from June 29, 2008, to June 29, 2009, to highlight St. Paul’s contribution to the spread of Christianity in the first century. On his first official venture outside the Vatican in April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome to pray at the tomb of the great apostle and to honor his missionary legacy. At that time the pope reflected that “The Church is by nature missionary; its primary purpose is evangelization. In the beginning of the third millennium the Church feels with renewed strength that Christ’s missionary effort is more pressing than ever.” St. Paul, the zealous missionary and astute letter writer, is an outstanding model of evangelization for us.